Charter Cities Challenge Legislation Restricting Access to State Funding Based on Compliance with Prevailing Wage Law


Cities Sue State Calling SB 7 an Unconstitutional Restriction on Municipal Affairs

Several California charter cities challenged the constitutionality of Senate Bill 7 (SB 7) last week by filing a writ of mandate and complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against the state in San Diego County Superior Court. SB 7 was recently passed by the legislature to require charter cities to adopt and comply with prevailing wage requirements equal to or greater than state standards as a condition of receiving state funding on future public works projects.

The challenge in City of El Centro v. Lanier claims that SB 7 is an unconstitutional restriction on access to state funding based on how charter cities conduct their constitutionally protected municipal affairs involving public works construction, including the setting of wages for public works projects. The charter cities in the suit are seeking a writ of mandate directing the state to cease all efforts to enforce SB 7 against charter cities, a determination that SB 7 is unconstitutional, and an injunction restraining enforcement of SB 7. BB&K will monitor this case and report further details as they become available.